Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/103

This page has been validated.

home apparatus is therefore not only of great advantage to nervous patients, but it can also be used profitably as a prophylaxis against tuberculosis; it fortifies the chest and strengthens the whole constitution. Care should be taken to perform the exercise in a well-aired room, and not to carry it to excess.

A suitable diet, specially adapted to each case, is of great importance in all nervous disease. The best general diet is usually one that is a little stimulating and blood-forming, with frequent changes. The usual courses of meat and wine should be considerably diminished, else the nerves will not be able to get the rest they need. Besides albuminous food, the necessary quantity of nutritious salts should be provided in supplies of fruit, green vegetables, and suitable milk and grain dishes. Very much to be recommended in nervous disorders are a well-prepared dish of oatmeal, a strong soup, or other dish of the kind. Such light food will not indeed be relished by many because of its being too contrary to their former habits. In such cases some savory addition to the cereal food may be a desirable expedient.

The old German acorn coffee is of special value in diseases of the nerves. Unmixed it is not very palatable to civilized men, but preparations may be made of it which will be found very useful in cases of nervous dyspepsia.

A suitable mental treatment should go hand in hand with hygienic and dietetic measures if the most favorable results are to be secured. Patience is a particularly valuable medicine to the neurasthenic; for it is evident that a disordered nervous system can be brought into equilibrium only with time and with the requisite endurance. In other respects the patient must try to contribute force to his cure through self-control, through strengthening of his will, and through bringing his mind up to a proper tone. The word of the poet comes into force that "time is man's angel." For the cure of even serious cases may be hoped for by following the hints we have given above; a corresponding right application of Nature's healing factors may bring about speedy cures even in apparently hopeless cases.

For the modern world, as a whole, the essential thing to be done is to return to ways of life more harmonious with Nature and less vexing to body and soul. The way to do this is clearly pointed out in the teachings of modern hygiene. May society enter upon this way betimes, for its own good and the salvation of the future!—Translated for The Popular Science Monthly from Ueber Land und Meer.


"Theories," said Prof. William Rutherford, at the British Association, "are but the leaves of the tree of science—they bud and expand, and in time they fade and fall, but they enable the tree to breathe and live."